It is March 3. Meteorologically speaking, winter is over and it is spring. Try telling that to Mother Nature though. Here in Nashville, we’ve had a nasty ice storm, some snow and temperatures well below freezing. I know it’s worse in other parts of the country. And the rest of this week isn’t looking much better.
Anyway, as much as I’m ready for spring and eating green smoothies for lunch every day (post on green smoothies coming soon), it’s too cold for that right now. In fact, in my mind, it’s too cold for just about anything other than a big batch of soup.
I wanted to make soup that used the ingredients I had on hand – namely cabbage, kale and apples (though still I ended up having to go to the store when I cut into my onion and found it rotten inside). And this is what I came up with. Came out pretty well, if I don’t say so myself! The freshly chopped apple is a great finisher. It balances the flavor and provides great texture. If possible, don’t chop the apple until right before you’re ready to serve.
Cabbage and Apple Soup
4 links of chicken sausage (I used Aidell’s Chicken Apple sausage)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery (3-4 stalks)
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced (for me, this was about 1 small cabbage)
2 cups kale, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper (more or less to taste)
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
2 granny smith apples (or a sweeter variety if you’d like, but definitely crispy), chopped right before serving
1. Saute onion, celery and garlic on medium heat in a small amount of oil of your choice, until soft and translucent, 5-10 minutes depending on your pot size.
2. Add cabbage, kale, herbs, salt and pepper. Stir well and cook 5 minutes.
3. Add chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
4. While soup is simmering, thinly slice chicken sausage links and saute until lightly browned.
5. Add chicken sausage to soup and simmer another 15-30 minutes.
6. Stir in apple cider vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
7. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top each bowl with approximately ¼ of an apple, chopped.